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The Birth of Venus

The Birth of Venus is a beautiful Renaissance canvas masterpiece created by Sandro Botticello. The picture illustrates the birth of Venus in a very mystical way. Venus has emerged from sea on a shell which is being driven to shore by flying wind-gods. She is surrounded by beautiful roses which are painted in a truly remarkable color. As she is about to step to land, one of the Hours hands her a purple cloak. The back drop includes the sea and a forest. The overall effect of this painting are almost overwhelming, color and beauty meet the eye in every angle.

Venus in Botticelli?s painting is a Renaissance beauty. During the Renaissance women were believed to look more attractive if they had some weight to them. It was believed that this weight make them more prepared for child birth, and basically healthier. Venus has weight in the painting. Without this weight I do not feel that she would have such a strong impact on her viewers. Another strong point of Venus?s presence is her wonderful long and flowing red-orange hair. It flows around her body keeping her pose modest, yet revealing. In all of this beauty it can be easy to overlook the unnatural length of Venus?s neck, and the steep fall of her shoulders. Venus?s outline is wonderfully graceful, and it is the grace that makes the print so wholesome and beautiful. If Botticelli would have chosen a slimmer or less natural Venus the harmony of the picture would have been destroyed.

The picture has many wholesome elements to it. Venus is only one example. The next wholesome element to the portrait is seen in the upper left corner of the picture. It is in this corner that Zephar and Chloris fly. Zephyr and Chloris are the wind-gods and they are actively blowing Venus to shore. The two gods fly entwined, each looking on lovingly. Botticelli illustrates both of the gods in a manner that shows their actions to be very gentle and angelic. The air that is coming from both of their mouths seems to be very pure and wholesome. Making Venus?s arrival to shore very graceful.

To the right of the painting is Nymph, also known as ?The Hours?, Greek goddesses of the seasons. She has on a very elegant dress and holds a robe out for Venus which is decorated with red and white daises, as well as yellow flowers of some sort, and blue cornflowers. These are all flowers of spring time which is appropriate for the theme of birth. The Nymph also wears garland which is also decorated with roses. The Nymph seems to be welcoming not only Venus, but the season of spring as well. This open arms welcome is very comforting to view.

Wholesome and graceful are words that I seem to ponder over and over again when I look at Botticelli?s Birth of Venus. The color is the first thing that really appeals to me upon viewing the painting. Everything is created in a color scheme that is inviting and refreshing. The wonderful color of Venus?s hair, the calming color of the roses, and the deep blue of the sea all seem to refresh my spirits. Once I can look beyond the colors I see so many things. The Nymph welcoming Venus reminds me of a mother holding her child for the first time it is very pure. The wind-gods are also very pure. The main thing that really draws me to this picture though is Venus.

Venus has so many wonderful traits to her. As I mentioned earlier she is done in a Renaissance style, which gives her more weight then modern day women. I think this part of the painting makes me feel comfortable. Greeks and Romans saw Venus as a sign of beauty, and to see this sign of beauty being of a moderate size is a real nice change. It seems like today every women that is photographed or painted is tiny. In fact, most of these women are so small and under weight that they look ill to me. The sad past of this matter is that this seems to be the look that sells and that guys find attractive. All of this causes the indirect weight struggle that almost all females face from a very young age through out most of their lives. To see that beauty can come in all sizes make me for once feel comfortable when I look at another women?s body. There is more to Venus though then her weight. She also has so much color to her. Her skin is of a healthy and natural glow, which makes her seem more human to me. Color is also displayed in the hair that has been given a wonderful color that is in fact too much for words. Looking at Venus makes me respect the beauty and dignity that women pose. This is the first painting that has ever given me this feeling. As I mentioned before I believe that this is caused by the way that Botticelli paints Venus.


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